Recruitment inadvertently becomes a part of your role the older and wiser (or at least more senior) you get. There will always be those days when one of your team resigns and it’s down to you to find the next ‘superstar’ to fill their role. Hopefully you have the backing of a strong recruitment team (internally or externally) to navigate the recruitment minefield because finding good people isn’t quite as straight forward as it sounds.
Once you’ve nailed down the job description and you know the kind of person and skill-set you’re looking for, there can be a real temptation to dust off the old ad and get something out there. Then after a week, and then another, when you’ve had a few applications but you’re struggling to find top talent, you’re not sure where to go next.
To find top talent you have to tell a compelling story that people want to be part of, which is why spending time writing the job ad is so important. Not getting it quite right but unsure where you’re going wrong? Here’s a couple of pointers to help you along the way:
To find top talent you have to tell a compelling story that people want to be part of
Don’t over complicate the job title
Trendy job titles like ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Guru’ have become more and more popular in recent years, with terms like ‘Ninja’ now being used a whopping 400% more. While these names might sound great, we have to remember that job titles should be intuitive and searchable so that candidates can easily find the roles we are advertising. By all means get creative with your titles, but for the purpose of advertising call a ‘Finance Manager’ a ‘Finance Manager’. Take a look at similar job ads if you’re unsure of the language you should be using.
Remove gender bias
The type of language you use has a direct impact on who applies for the role, and you could be sending a strong message without even meaning to. Avoid alienating women by using masculine words like ‘competitive’ and ‘headstrong’ or putting off men by using emotional language like ‘interpersonal’ or ‘considerate’. Keep your ads gender neutral by evaluating your language to help you find the right person regardless of sex.
Check out page 17 of this study to see a rundown of some gender bias words.
What’s in it for them?
Think about the role you’re advertising from the candidates’ perspective. Why should they apply for your role over another one? If they have to wade through five minutes of company blurb before hearing what’s in it for them then it’s likely they won’t make it to the end of the ad.
What are the perks of the role – structured training? Onsite parking? Birthday day off? Don’t save the best bits until the end.
Do they really need it?
Once you’ve written the job ad, take a break from your desk and evaluate what you are asking for. Do they really need 5 years’ experience? Do they really need a degree? Or industry experience? Ask yourself whether you are unnecessarily limiting your candidate pool. What are your non-negotiables and how could you upskill instead? In our experience, it’s often the “wild cards” who aren’t as sharp on paper but have the right personality and ability to learn that get the job.
Recruitment can be a stressful experience, especially when you’re under pressure to fill the role quickly. Putting dedicated time into ad writing, instead of reusing old content will save time later. And while effective job ads can yield top talent, remember it’s only one aspect of the recruitment process. From our experience, a lot of the best people come from reaching out to our network and getting recommendations from people we know and trust. There may only be a small number of ‘Ninjas’ and ‘Rockstars’ out there so it’s your job to show them why they want to be part of your story.